Press release

NFER to hand over historic collection to Slough

27 July 2009

Sue Rossiter, chief executive of NFER, will be handing over the NFER/Reg Harrison collection of historic documents and memorabilia to the Mayor of Slough at the Foundation’s Slough headquarters, on Heritage Open Day.


The headquarters of the National Foundation for Educational Research is in The Mere, an impressive Victorian house built by the Bentley family, publishers of Charles Dickens. Reg Harrison, an outstanding local historian, had an especial interest in The Mere and the Bentleys. On his death Mr. Harrison made a generous bequest of his collection of written material, photos and other memorabilia that he had collected about the family and their house to NFER.

With the permission of Reg Harrison’s daughters, NFER decided to hand the NFER/Reg Harrison collection to Slough Library's Local Studies Collection to ensure its ongoing preservation and to provide public access in the future. The collection provides a fascinating insight to life 'above and below stairs' - the family, its servants and the impressive house they occupied. The important collection of photos it includes is being digitised and made available via Slough History Online.

NFER’s Sue Rossiter said: "It’s been a privilege to have Reg Harrison’s bequest here, which has provided us with a fascinating glimpse of the history of the house that we’re fortunate to work in, as well as the family that lived here. However, handing the collection over will allow everyone with an interest in local history the chance to enjoy the collection and I’m sure Slough Library is the best place to ensure its safe keeping."

Slough’s Mayor, Cllr Joginder Singh Bal, said: "This is very exciting and gives us all a great insight in to the lives of the family. I am very pleased to be part of the celebrations and hope that Slough residents will take the opportunity to read through the collection."

The official handover of the NFER/Reg Harrison Collection will take place on Saturday 12 September from 12.00 - 12.30 at NFER, The Mere, Upton Park, Slough SL1 2DQ.

The Mere is being opened to the public as part of Heritage Open Day and there will be regular guided tours from Jeff Griffiths, NFER’s historian (now retired) and author of The Mere a brief history


About NFER

NFER, the National Foundation for Educational Research, is the UK’s largest independent provider of research, assessment and information services for education, training and children’s services.

With a successful track record over more than 60 years, our work spans all sectors of education, from pre-school to lifelong learning. Our purpose is straightforward: to make a difference to learners of all ages, especially to the lives of children and young people. We do this by maintaining a strong focus in all our work on improving the practice and increasing the understanding of everyone who works with and for learners.